Current George Russell

Who is George Russell asked Titch - well he's is 21 year old from Norfolk who the latest Brit on the F1 grid. For once I can actually say I've watched this kid all the way up the ladder.

I first saw Russell in BRDC F4 (thank you ITV4) and he stood out then because in a field full of kids putting everything on the line for a win he was the only one who had the brain to think about the championship race and realise getting a decent haul of points was sometimes more important than chucking it in do or die style for the win. Low and behold he won the title. I next see him in European F3 in a field containing Felix Rosenqvist, Antonio Giovanazzi and Charles LeClerc. He was mostly midfield that year but spent a lot of time wheel banging with LeClerc. Word in the paddock is the two really don't like each other much. Shortly after that he got the ART seat in GP3 and pretty much walked his way to the title.

Which brings us to last year in F2. I'll be honest as much as I rated Russell I thought he was going to be crushed by Lando Norris - he wasn't. Once again he used his tactical brain to consistently get results and dominate the championship. It was very impressive considering the strength of the field. So Russell comes into F1 with back to back titles in GP3 and F2. The only other person to do that is his mate Charles LeClerc. So Russell is a very deserved addition to the grid.

With all the good stuff out the way it's time to focus on the bad news for Russell. As much as he is probably ecstatic to be in F1 his head is probably dropping at the fact that the team he has signed for have some serious problems. Williams have already missed two days of testing and the car is rumoured to be even slower than last years. So it could be a season of being at the back for George which is all good as long as he beats his team mate right? Well unfortunately this is not a good situation for Russell either as his team mate is Robert Kubica. If Russell beats him it'll be put down to the fact that Bobby is not the same driver after his injuries. If he gets beat by him people will ask why he couldn't beat a veteran who suffered almost career ending injuries. It really is a no win situation.

Russell's saving factor might be the fact he is a Merc junior driver. He has to hope that he has a good enough season to make people forget Ocon is on the sidelines. That paired with Bottas having an awful year could see Mercedes decide to take a chance on him in the A team. Personally I don't think Mercedes would ever run two Brits in their car so it might be the best he can hope for is a Racing Point seat becoming open.

So any thoughts on Russell?
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
i still think hamilton has the advantage in the bidding game, but its going to be the biggest game of bluff going because Mercedes want lewis hamilton, why would you not want the 1 of greatest in history. but theyve got to act they are willing to see him leave. its how far along the plank they are willing to go. because they both know without him Mercedes would be going into Abu Dhabi with 10pt advatange to win there 1st title since 2017

but for the 1st time he knows he is not indispensable, mercedes have been shown there is life after lewis
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
Russell basically showed Mercedes that they could save probably at least $15m a year not paying an inflated wage to Hamilton and/or sack Bottas as well
 

FB

Not my cup of cake
Valued Member
Let's not get carried away. George may well be better than Valterri but he's not a seven times World Champion with a media profile which rivals many pop stars. Mercedes will want to have Hamilton in their team for as long as he wants to keep driving. I'm sure they will abide by whatever budget caps rules are put in place and will want to minimise what they have to pay, but Toto Wolff is not Frank Williams and realises that the driver is more than ballast (although that may be the case with Bottas!)
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
I agree with you FB.

The point I made earlier was also the fact that, as Hamilton moves towards to later end of his career, he really wants that 8th title. Putting a young charger in the second car may create more problems for Hamilton than he'd like.

Bottas is a far better team mate for Hamilton and the harmony of the team.

Internal team pressures tend to bring out different sides of people's characters.
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
I made the point on a different thread that Lewis brings a great deal of value. I dont think for one second that the team (and Lewis) know that. he is a global brand and brings far more than simply a performance, and he is also 7x WDC, and draws the focus that goes with it.

I think it will suit Merc to have George waiting in the wings, as a reminder to Bottas that he needs to be on his game, a subtle point to the rest of the grid that Mercedes have George - hands off, but also as a bit of leverage with Lewis, although it would take a brave negotiator to go too strong on that last one. No, 2022 sounds like the right time, to either replace Lewis or Valterri. I can only see him in a Merc next year if Lewis decides he is going to retire to drop some tunes.
 

Il_leone

Champion Elect
What if Bottas has a bad race then? The guy is on borrowed time. Funny we speak of Hamilton might be concerned of a young charger because Russell is in the position Hamilton use to be in at Mclaren. Surely he cant sway that much like say Schumacher did. Even Vettel at Ferrari had to relent that Ferrari promote Leclerc to avoid signing either Ricciardo or Verstappen
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Let's not get carried away. George may well be better than Valterri but he's not a seven times World Champion with a media profile which rivals many pop stars. Mercedes will want to have Hamilton in their team for as long as he wants to keep driving. I'm sure they will abide by whatever budget caps rules are put in place and will want to minimise what they have to pay, but Toto Wolff is not Frank Williams and realises that the driver is more than ballast (although that may be the case with Bottas!)

yes Mercedes will want Lewis Hamilton & i fully expected he will be re signed. but they are seemingly playing the longest game of poker. because it still confused me why is the easiest deal in history taking so long. that it seems 3rd best driver in Mercedes stable is the only 1 confirmed next season

Il_leone there is a difference between hamilton & Vettel in 2017, 18 & 19. they were title rivals with equal ish cars. Vettel cracked & Hamilton raised his game. as Italy & Singapore 2018 was ferrari huge favourites to cement the championship lead. lewis put in a great win at monza from ferrari 1-2 & then 1 of the perfect qualifying laps. Vettel cracked consectively
 
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RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
I don't like this 'one bad race and you're out' culture that's has sprung up around F1. Judge a driver on a season and how he learns.

George is very good but would not play second fiddle to Lewis and would upset the applecart. Bottas will be a good number 2 and therefore is actually doing the best job that could be done which is why they keep hiring him and therefore is not on borrowed time. All the top teams have a number one and a number two driver. It confuses me as to why people talk like this is a new scenario.
 

RasputinLives

Leave me alone I'm on Smoko
Contributor
In fact i'll put this question out there.

Name an occasion in recent times when a team replacing on old veteran back up driver they've had for ages with a new young charger has not let to inter team arguments and the teams superstar leaving?
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
but this is not 1 bad race from bottas, if im being harsh he's been poor since september 2017.

& without going like the lion king but isnt that circle of life, in the situation its kill or be killed, brundle has said for many years its your either giving pressure or your taking it. with vettel it was the correct decision there is many times without leclerc like bahrain, pole by 0.030 & finished 4th after a collision wouldve been seemed great, but oblivious that in a paralell universe. Leclerc taken pole by 4 tenths & then completely dominant in the race

yes RasputinLives your probally correct that it does bring problems. ive always felt that in F1, if the front running teammates are friends then they arent extracting the best out of the car because 1 is underperforming & 1 is driving within himself. you have look at riccardio when Kyvat was replaced, all of a sudden he'd found half a second
 

The Pits

Harumph. Again.
Valued Member
Mercedes have won the WCC 7 years running. The last few years have been far more harmonious than pre 2017 (Cant think what changed). While Lewis is there, and Valtteri still enabling them to win WCC, what is the pressure for change? George Russell for me is a Hamilton replacement, and would likely be brought in for 2022, when (hopefully) Lewis will have 8 WDC. I dont believe that there will be nor should be a change for next season. Valtteri is good enough to get the job done without rocking the boat, which in turn enables the rest of the team to focus on the job in hand, rather than managing 2 opposing ego's. Win/Win
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
We have no idea what Russell is really like - one good start and being able to maintain a lead over a teammate is not really indicative of anything.

If Russell is better than Ballast* and is that much closer to Hamilton then it's going to cause problems.

Just ask McLaren 2007.







* Courtesy FB
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
Judge a driver on a season
Which in the case of Perez is an interesting point. He's had arguably his best ever season in F1 and yet he's about to be replaced by a guy who's just had his poorest.

Funny old world.

On Russell, I was on the verge of posting that, prior to his lucky break with Mercedes, maybe his star was loosing a little of its shine. Yes has done well on a Saturday but he wasn't exactly ripping up trees on a Sunday.

Russell has created a lot of talk which is a good thing. It's nice to have stuff to chat about again.
 

F1Brits_90

Champion Elect
Which in the case of Perez is an interesting point. He's had arguably his best ever season in F1 and yet he's about to be replaced by a guy who's just had his poorest.

well that i believe is them wanting the experience of 4x time world champion. to take them to the next level off track. but there is potential of going to the prior level on track

On Russell, I was on the verge of posting that, prior to his lucky break with Mercedes, maybe his star was loosing a little of its shine. Yes has done well on a Saturday but he wasn't exactly ripping up trees on a Sunday.
i think Russell is a victim of his own success. because he in qualifying he is up with & times beating the Ferraris. so his races are going backwards & defending the faster cars
 
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